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Accounting Specialist - Payroll 

Location Museum of Life and Science  
About the Organization The Museum of Life and Science, one of North Carolina’s top family destinations, has been a beloved Durham institution for 75 years. The Museum features 84 acres of exhibits, experiences, and outdoor exploration, including one of the East Coast's largest butterfly conservatories and a two-story science center. As an accredited zoo, the Museum is home to lemurs, black bears, endangered red wolves, and more than 140 species of live animals, butterflies, and insects. Readers of Durham Magazine, Indy Week, and Carolina Parent have repeatedly named us the top Museum in the Triangle. Charity Navigator rated the Museum, a 501(c3) nonprofit organization, 100 out of 100-- the highest possible score.

Our mission is to create a place of lifelong learning where people of all ages embrace science as a way of knowing about themselves, their community, and their world. The Museum serves our increasingly diverse community with interactive and accessible experiences that build and develop lifelong connections with science, nature, and critical thinking. The Museum partners with NASA, NOAA, the National Science Foundation, Duke University, NC State University, and the University of North Carolina on many research projects and programs.

In addition to an incredible team of co-workers, the Museum provides competitive compensation commensurate with experience, as well as a full array of employee benefits for eligible positions, including a generous 403b retirement plan with employer contributions, health, dental, and vision insurance, flex-spending plans, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, nine paid annual holidays, employee appreciation events, and a family membership to the Museum.  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Non-Exempt  

Position Objective: Supports the Museum mission by assisting the Accounting Department in providing accurate and timely financial information to enable staff and leadership to advance the mission of the Museum.


  • In all activities, the Accounting Specialist – Payroll is expected to act ethically and with attention to detail that supports the integrity and the timeliness of financial reporting to management, board of directors, government agencies and grantor organizations.
  • Work closely with HR Department to ensure employees’ data is correct in payroll system, including ensuring benefit elections and retirement deductions are entered correctly, as well as changes to employees’ schedules, FTEs, paid leave accruals, pay rates, and departments. Ensure employee terminations are entered correctly and timely, including having appropriate and limited security rights after termination.
  • Process bi-weekly payroll, ensuring that timesheets are completed and approved in accordance with complex timekeeping policies.
  • Export payroll data from payroll system, prepare in Excel, and import into general ledger system, paying close attention to coding and detail.
  • Interact with payroll vendor for system support and guidance as necessary.
  • Enter 403(b) contributions into plan administrator's system and record in general ledger system.
  • Reconcile 403(b) payable account in general ledger.
  • Prepare quarterly reports to monitor 403(b) compliance. Provide data for and serve as the lead in the annual 403(b) audit.
  • Ensure employees are enrolled in insurance coverage and retirement plan and that terminated employees are enrolled timely in COBRA.
  • Audit invoices from benefits providers (medical, dental, vision, life, supplemental and employee assistance program) and reconcile to GL balances.
  • Deliver cash deposit to bank, scan checks to bank for remote deposit, and support Guest Relations and Retail Operations with change orders.
  • Provide crucial pay data for budgets and compensation studies.
  • Update various Excel spreadsheets and schedules with internal and external data.
  • Assist the Sr. Accounting Specialist and Controller with special projects and monthly reporting.
  • Back up the Accounting Specialist for Accounts Payable as necessary.
  • Always demonstrate adherence to Museum safety procedures.
  • Engage with Museum visitors in a positive and helpful way to support an enjoyable and safe guest experience.
  • Prioritize the Museum’s values of inclusion and kindness in all interactions with staff, volunteers, and guests.
  • Additional duties as assigned.


Actual Pay Rate: $17.00-$22.09/hour

Position Requirements


  • 3 or more years of accounting experience, specifically in payroll
  • Ability to perform tasks with a high degree of accuracy and independence
  • Very strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office, particularly Excel
  • Proficient with accounting software, understand accounting concepts, and comfortable working with computers
  • Ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality with personal information
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Knowledge of general ledger systems and procedures, financial chart of accounts, and generally accepted accounting principles
  • Thorough knowledge of payroll and time and attendance concepts and procedures
  • Ability to troubleshoot, follow up, and resolve problems with staff from other departments
  • Strong planning, multitasking, and organizational skills to balance and prioritize duties
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Enthusiasm for supporting staff across the organization


  • Non-profit or government experience
  • Associate degree or higher in accounting
  • Demonstrated ability to improve efficiencies
  • Paychex accounting software experience
  • MIP accounting software experience


Shift -not applicable-  
Pay Range $17.00-$22.09/hour  
EOE Statement The Museum of Life and Science is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment regardless of race, color, religion, creed, age, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law. In addition, we will provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities to participate in the job application or interview process, perform crucial job functions, and receive other benefits and privileges of employment. As an equal opportunity employer, we value the differences and benefits that a diverse culture brings. Join us!
Category Accounting/Finance  

This position is currently accepting applications.

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